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  • Writer's pictureAndy Ross

The Foot Rebellion

A couple of months ago I went to see one of my long-time favorite bands, They Might Be Giants, in concert. The show was over in Asheville at their much-beloved venue The Orange Peel, a place I liked a lot. It was the first time I had been here to see a show and the first time I’d been to a standing-only show since my 20s.

I must share with you one crucial fact about your humble writer. I have bad feet. I’ve had them all my life. Fallen arches, and something else that I don’t recall from when they told me all this when I was 8 years old. My feet were even operated on when I was 10 to try to help with the pain. The operation did help, but they still ache if I’m on them for extended periods.

There’s also the bonus fun fact that as I am aging my historically bad feet are getting a little bit worse. Yet, I felt confident I would be fine at the concert. I knew the place had a lounge where you could sit and see the show piped in on a private TV stream. I wore my most supportive shocks and shoes and prepared myself for a wonderful evening.

What I didn’t take into consideration was the walking I would have to do from parking to get to the venue, nor the standing outside waiting for the doors to open. Thanks to friends who know the area better than I do, I was able to find parking just two blocks away. That wasn’t bad. Standing outside the venue was a little bit of a challenge, it did give me pause for concern, but I was pleased my plan to try to compensate for my bad feet appeared to be working.

The doors opened, and I saw friends who were there, pleasant times all around. The show began and it was delightful. I was very geeked up and so happy to hear a band I’ve loved for many years live after so long. They were playing their beloved and iconic 1990 album “Flood” in its entirety as part of this tour. I didn’t want to miss a thing.

Then, suddenly, about halfway into the first act I began to notice my feet, despite all my efforts, were aching very badly. I knew there was bound to be some pain, there is no failsafe when it comes to me and my feet. The pain was tolerable, then soon grew more and more into a sense of urgency. I felt a voice as if a calling was reaching out to me from deep within. The voice was plain and clear: “If you don’t sit down we are going to rebel on you and topple you over like an old-growth tree toppling in a forest.”

I looked to my left, people. I looked to my right, more people. I knew that I would need to make a break for the lounge downstairs. I looked behind me and saw a gap where I could work my way to the stairs that led to the lounge. I said “pardon me” a lot as I began my way over, each step was painful. I manage and worked my way down to the lounge.

I found a big soft sofa and sat down on it and watched the rest of the first half. My feet were relieved. I spent most of the rest of the show down there, as I could tell things were going to be a little touch a go. I went back up towards the end of the second act as I wanted to be in the main room for “Birdhouse in Your Soul.” The concert was great, I slowly made my way to where I had parked the car.

I was also relieved I didn’t topple over in a room full of people. That would have caused me much anxiety and something to ruminate over for nights to come. Now the next day? Well, when I got out of bed my feet immediately went “Nope!” I about did the old growth fall right back into my bed. The rest of that day I was moving slowly as if I needed a cartoon trombone sound effect to go with it.

I’ve learned next time I go see a show I need to check if it’s standing room only or if there are any places to go and sit. As much fun as I had, I learned I can’t take the chance to topple myself right into the ground again at another show like that. Maybe when I’m gone one day they’ll dedicate a park to me in a manner suiting the old-growth tree my true inner self is. Today my feet are fine, and I think I may walk around a garden center. There will be soft bags of soil to fall on there if needed. See you next week.


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